The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued new guidelines for screening, treating, and managing lupus nephritis (LN), including methods of identifying kidney disease, newer therapies, and pregnant patient care.

Three panels of researchers published their findings in Arthritis Care & Research after reviewing the medical literature from 1996 to 2010. Guidelines include advising renal biopsy in untreated patients with active nephritis, maintaining improvement in patients responsive to induction therapy while changing therapies in patients who are unresponsive, and identifying vascular disease in patients with renal abnormalities.

Despite newer methods of treating LN, studies show an increase in end-stage renal disease incidence resulting from lupus over the past 20 years, according to the ACR.  Investigators acknowledge that guidelines are constrained by a lack of agreed upon terms and limited data, and ongoing evaluation is necessary.

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